Driving While Black: There’s an app for that

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PORTLAND, Oregon –  Maybe you’ve heard of, or even been involved with, DWB. You know, Driving While Blonde.

Then there’s the other DWB, Driving While Black. And, yes, there’s an app for that.

Portland, Oregon attorney Marianne Hyland says the app she helped develop doesn’t just focus on African-Americans.

"Black people talk about the phenomenon of 'driving while black' and our yearning for resources to help navigate those encounters with the police so that they stay safe."

Data from the Texas Department of Public Safety show Black drivers made up fewer than 10 percent of the traffic stops by state troopers in 2013, which was below the percent of the African-American population, which is about 11.5 percent.

Whites, on the other hand, had a higher percent of traffic stops, 63 percent, which is higher that their percent of the population, which is 45.5 percent.

The DWB app provides best-practices for everyone to use during traffic stops, and tips on staying safe, not only for drivers, but also for cops.

Drivers can use the app to let other people known when they’ve been pulled over.

Users can also use the app to record a stop and to provide complaints or congrats about the cop involved. Parents can also use the app to educate their kids.

Sgt. Pete Simpson with the Portland police. says, “If they recognize the challenge that officers face on a traffic stop, that they're very unpredictable, and a lot of times bad things can happen on traffic stops to police officers."

Because a “routine” traffic stop can quickly turn deadly.

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